Loading images...
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Water Point Of Okumu Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Water Containers Scattered At A Compound In The Community
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Storage Of Water
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Sample Latrine
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Sample Household
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Mud Walled Latrine
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Filling Smaller Container With Water At Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Fetching Water At Okumu Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Dunking Jerrycan Into Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Drying Cloths On The Ground
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Dish Drying Rack
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Cows Grazing At An Open Field
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Community Members Carrying Water From The Spring
The Water Project: Mukhangu Community -  Bathroom Made From Dry Maize Stalks

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  11/30/2018

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Okumu Spring is located in Mukhangu Village of Kakamega County. A normal day in this community begins when community members wake up very early in the morning and proceed to the farm.

This region grows sugarcane as a major cash crop. For a number of years, people in this region made a lot of money from sugarcane. They were paid for each cane harvest. Some men disappeared once the check was cashed and would come back when the money was finished. Others took on mistresses. The region is currently among the leading places in terms of HIV and AIDS infection and transmission.

Recently, the sugar sector suffers from instability. At the moment the sugarcane no longer fetches farmers the money it did sometime back. This has given birth to a population of HIV victims who cannot meet their basic needs, widows and a lot of orphans who swim in poverty.

A good meal is the subject of prayers, decent clothes are a thing of the past, and a good education is just a dream. The only thing they have is hope that one day things may change.

The Spring

More than 200 people from the local community use Okumu Spring for water. This spring serves the community and two nearby private primary schools. It has been there since time in memorial. It is viable and high yielding.

The source is very contaminated since it is open to pollution from nearby farms, improper waste disposal, and open defecation.

Most people reported having contracted waterborne diseases as a result of consuming the water from the unprotected source.

“Since I got married to this village at the age of 19 years, we have been using this dirty and unsafe water for consumption. Quite a good number have suffered due to consuming water from the spring and succumb to premature deaths,” Mrs. Doreen Okumu, a local farmer, said.

Just like other communities, they use a smaller container to feed a bigger container which is cumbersome and time-consuming. They use plastic containers without covers to fetch the water. Most families store water in the plastic containers or pots that are kept in the backyard.

We also assessed the state of sanitation and hygiene in the community. We found that fewer than half of households have latrines.  The existing latrines are in pathetic condition and hazardous to the user.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:


Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Handwashing will also be a big topic.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families chosen for sanitation platforms must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

We're just getting started, check back soon!

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


Imago Dei Community